Curated & Edited

by Heir Sherrod

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40 Under 40

CAKES DA KILLA

RAPPER + WRITER

Cakes Da Killa is a Brooklyn-based rapper and writer hailing from Teaneck, NJ. His signature 90's flow and cutthroat wordplay has garnered praise from HOT97's own Ebro Anthony Fantano of the Needledrop. His sound is a mixture of hardcore technical lyricism marinated with club beats. With his mixtapes under his belt and a killer live show, Cakes quickly became a must-see act on many festival lineups and club dates around the world. His fresh take on rap has kept Cakes touring globally since he burst on the scene in 2011. Cakes is a key player in the recent conversation regarding LGBT visibility in the urban rap market and has been featured on various media outlets sharing his journey as an openly gay MC. In 2016, his much anticipated debut album Hedonism was released on own label RUFFIANS.

SONIC

VOCALIST

Originally hailing from the bay area, Sonic is an innovative and formidable vocalist and creative artisan currently residing in NYC. Sonic's soulfully versatile and dynamic sound is uniquely amplified by the fact that she is completely deaf in one ear. The name "Sonic", represents her distinctive ability to break barriers and transcend limitations of her abilities through gift and expression of song.  In 2015, Sonic secured a spot on The Voice Season 8, singing her way to the Top 20. In 2018, Sonic formed Womxyn Amplify Vibrations (W.A.V.), a team dedicated to amplifying the voices of queer and trans womxn of color artists. Together, they successfully launched the Airbnb concert Sisters Unsigned: An Intimate Concert by Womxn. As co-host and headliner, Sonic ensures that her songs speak to her truth as a queer womxn of color in the world. 

XAVIER D'LEAU

CO-CREATOR + CO-HOST OF 

JADE AND XD PODCAST

X. D. is a blogger, social commentator, and digital content creator from New York City by way of the San Francisco Bay Area. He writes and vlogs about the everyday musings of what it is to be a Black male in a large city at XavierDLeau.com [xavierdleau.com] and BlackGay30.com [blackgay30.com] X. D. takes his social commentary to his podcast “Jade and XD” on iTunes. He’s also been featured on TheRoot.com [theroot.com], The Grio and panels such as the infamous BasseyWorldLive founded by Def Poet, Bassey Ikpi.

On the business front, X. D. owns his own Digital Creative Services agency under The X. D. Experience umbrella and represents some of the leading entities on the web.

JESSICA THORPE

CREATOR + HOST OF

JESS WANTS TO KNOW PODCAST

Jessica Thorpe is a public relations consultant and creator and host of Jess Wants to Know podcast.  Jessica most recently spearheaded communications for Verizon’s marketing, sponsorship and corporate social responsibility efforts.  During her tenure, she designed culturally relevant communications programs and experiences that forged a stronger relationship between Verizon and multicultural audiences. Jessica is the creator of #Freestyle50, an award-winning integrated marketing campaign that intersects technology and hip-hop, in partnership with 300 Entertainment. The campaign was ranked as Verizon’s top performing communications initiative in 2016 and 2017, and demonstrated increases in sales and social engagement year over year.

PARRIS LEWIS

SONGWRITER, OPERA SINGER +

TEACHING ARTIST 

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Parris Mone't Lewis began her years of performance and study at a very early age. Miss Lewis has had opportunities to perform with organizations such as The Public Theatre, The Bronx Opera, The Martina Arroyo Foundation, Carnegie Hall, The Grady- Rayam Foundation, The American Heart Association, The National Endowment of the Arts, The United Negro College Fund, New York Fashion Week and for audiences as far as Colombia, South America and Cuba. While performing original music around NYC and exploring songwriting, Ms. Lewis also currently performs withThe New York Choral Society, Coleman Collective and works as a Teaching Artist for The Leadership Program and the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall.

B MAJR

DISK JOCKEY

After earning his Masters at Johns Hopkins University and moving to New York City to pursue a career as a Toxicologist, Detroit born B MAJR soon discovered that he was more in love with how music intoxicated a crowd rather than a cell. Perhaps providing that there are no clear answers in the question of how the arts and sciences intersect. BMAJR is known for his unique blend of house, trap, hip-hop, and indie tunes in unexpected flips and remixes. His urban rock star style has gained him increased popularity on runways and select men’s lifestyle brands. BMAJR spins sets for brands such as HBO, REMY MARTIN COGNAC, GQ, and SOHO HOUSE, among other lifestyle brands.

SHARON "LA LOCA" MONTERO

ON-AIR HOST ON RADIO 103.9, NEW YORK'S BEST MIX OF R&B

Whether on the air or standing before hundreds at a live event, when Sharon “La Loca” Montero steps before a microphone all bets are off.  The New York based radio personality is a multi-talented force to be reckoned with and currently serves as the Mid-Day host of Radio 103.9, New York’s Best Mix of R&B. Born in Boston, Massachusetts and bred in Perth Amboy NJ,  La Loca’s work in radio spans over 10 years with time spent at more than half a dozen radio stations in the Florida Marketincluding Power 95.3, 102 Jamz Orlando and 95.7 The Beat. La Loca has interviewed everyone from Kanye West and Mary J Blige, to Congressmen and reality stars.

Her unique flair, and diverse range of experiences, make for a strong voice in the industry.

STEVEN LINDSEY

HOST OF DEAR Y'ALL +

1/4 OF HIM PODCAST

Stevie is 27-year-old wild child Aries from Long Island, New York and has built a huge following through his YouTube, Tumblr, and Twitter, reaching an audience of over 20K. Known as a true music and pop culture junkie, and for live tweeting some of the best shows on TV. Stevie has started a new venture on his accounts and has started giving advice in what he calls "Dear Y’all".

Stevie brings the energy to the show, always keeping you guessing on what he will say next.  

BLK.IDTWINS

INDENTICAL TWIN DISK JOCKEY DUO

The BLK.IDTWINS are identical DJ's that have been vinyl hoarding and mixing since age of 11. Igniting their captivating DJ's style allows these Brooklyn icons to be constant students in their craft. The BLK.IDTWINS are energetically known for their vast genre bending sets that landed them as cast mates of BET's newest reality show "Hustle In Brooklyn", which follows the social and professional lives of Brooklyn's influential millennials. You can hear the BLK.IDTWINS spinning at exclusive clubs and events locally and internationally for the hottest brands on the rise.